Will you help us improve the most-visited profiles?

+57 votes

Hi WikiTreers,

We've been developing a way to identify the most-visited WikiTree profiles, i.e. the profiles that are seen by the most people. We're doing this so that we can focus some extra attention on them.

Yes, yes, all our ancestors are equally important and deserving of attention. But bear with me here and I'll explain why helping the most-visited profiles will help all WikiTree profiles be seen more often.

For some background, here is the method we're using to identify them. Ales is combining data from two sources:

  1. The page view count that we maintain internally. This is the number you see on a profile where it says, "This page has been accessed X times."
  2. The unique visitor count from Google Analytics. We're using this to find out how many different people have seen a profile in the past year.

We're giving a profile the top ranking, five stars, if it has 1.) 1,000+ total page views and 2.) 100+ different visitors in the past year. There are about 34,000 profiles that meet this criteria. (Ales is still working on improving his method. The profiles that get five stars will change a little bit over time.)

Why are we doing this?

This is about putting our best face forward.

These are the profiles seen by the most people. We want them to be the best they can be. If a person lands on one of these profiles and likes what they see they are more likely to dig deeper. We want to make a good first impression.

Moreover, this is about putting our best face forward for Google. Google is judging our worth based on these profiles. If these are good quality profiles all our profiles will rank higher in Google's search results. (For more on why appearing in Google's search results is so important for WikiTree, see this post from a few weeks ago.)

How should we go about improving them?

Thirty-four thousand profiles is a lot, but we have a large community here. If we work together I think we can make some rapid progress on them.

I. Star Profiles You Manage

Do any profiles you manage have five stars? Ales has enabled a way to see this on WikiTree+.

Click here and enter "5stars" and your WikiTree ID in the text field in the search section. For example, see 5stars Whitten-1 and then click "Get profiles".

II. Star Profiles Managed by Projects

About 7,800 of the 34,000 five-star profiles are managed by projects. Project leaders are now figuring out how to coordinate reviewing and improving them. If you're a member of a geographic or topical project you may have already heard about this, or will soon.

If you're not currently active in a project, will you help with this special task? The Ireland, Magna Carta, and Slavic Roots projects have already started recruiting new teams of volunteers. More requests for help will be coming. See this post for the current list or reach out to a project that interests you.

III. Star Profiles with Errors and Suggestions

This week's Data Doctor Challenge is focused on five-star profiles that aren't managed by projects.

If you've ever been involved with one of these weekly challenges you know what it's all about. Ales uses deep data analysis to flag potential problems. Dates that don't make sense with other dates. Circular relationships. Errors in reference tags, etc. All that gets compiled into tables of profiles that need to be looked at. Participating members check them off one-by-one.

These suggestion tables can look intimidating the first time you work with them. Don't let that stop you. Just ask questions on the challenge thread and others will be happy to help you figure out how you can contribute. We have a great community here.

Anything you can do is much appreciated. Just spending ten minutes improving a five-star profile will have outsized benefits for our entire tree. This is truly a case where everyone's contributions can make a difference for our mission.



in The Tree House by Chris Whitten G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
edited by Chris Whitten
Thank you Eowyn.
I am working on a list of 5 Star Acadian Project profiles. To do a thorough job is very time-consuming so I hope we are given several months to complete our review and a timely warning before they are freed up to the general community. Thanks!!!
Hi Jackie! Let me know when you have your list and I'll add it to our list. :)   There are definitely a lot of Acadian ones!
Hi Eowyn, Jackie is working from the Acadian list I pulled from sdms using the 5star identifier. So it is the same list as yours.  When she and others complete edits of one of these, I'm updating your Master file.  We have 73 done as of today.  I was curious as to the counts on the various projects - as scrolling through it did seem like the Acadians are popular people!  I don't think Google Analytics can tell us how many of the views are from other Wikitreers vs outside visitors, but that would be interesting to know.
Is it a list we can link to above so others know it's available?
Probably could link it.  It's been sent to all the badged people in our Google group and some have used it.  What do you need from me to accomplish this?
Some approximate numbers, about a week old

PGM 1000+ (could mean anything)

British Isles Aristo 1000+ (ditto)

EuroAristo 800

Magna Carta 800

US Presidents 500

Acadia 400

New Netherlands 350

Mayflower 350

Maybe 6-10 more over 100
That's for profiles managed by the project, so it's heavily skewed by the extent to which the project has chosen to take profiles under management.

If you could count "5-star profiles within the scope of the project" it would be a different list.

My own profile has shown up on my own five star list, which is a shocker.  Can you possibly provide a list of some  member profiles for us to view that are considered good examples for us to follow.  As we all know, it is very difficult to properly source a living persons profile. My profile is more about my life thus far.  Any examples will help.  

Thanks Chris.  Taylor
I think RJ makes a good point that those that are project managed and those that are  within a projects purview would create two different lists.

It might be that five star profiles which are not project managed (and not personal profiles)are more likely to need attention than those a project watches.

21 Answers

+25 votes
I think this is a good idea. It's helpful to have a clearer picture of where our efforts will do the most good the most quickly.
by Thomas Fuller G2G6 Mach 5 (59.3k points)
+25 votes

Thanks Chris for bringing this to our attention and a special thanks to Aleš Trtnik for all his Programming magic.

In the Ireland Project we have started a Page/Team to track the 5 star Profiles that were born, died or lived in Ireland.

If you're interested in helping us out, leave a comment below here or on our page Ireland 5 Star list Team

by Richard Devlin G2G6 Pilot (109k points)
That's super, Richard. I am going to make one for Slavic Roots.
Thanks so much for making this. I used your page to create one for the Black Sheep project.

Very much appreciated!
+18 votes
can we sort the list by number of views?
by Dennis Wheeler G2G6 Pilot (424k points)
I would also like to see the entire list and haven't really found an easy way to do that.  Sorting by number of views would be helpful and very interesting.
+12 votes
Chris, I just clicked your "Click Here" link and got "Error in SDMS Server".

Continuing on, the only 5 star profile on my watchlist is my own.  This creates a problem because I have taken advantage of the leeway permitted for members own profiles and those of their close family.  Although my profile has sources, they are strictly tongue-in-cheek, and some of my formatting uses code that is "not recommended".  Fortunately, data doctors will not be able to "fix" any of these things because, of course, my profile is private since the last time I checked I'm still alive.
by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (682k points)
edited by Gaile Connolly

Gaile, I'm sure we can recommend some 5-star profiles for you to improve.

Oskar Schindler, to which you contributed sourced content in the past, has some passages and other content that lack source citations, and it would benefit from other tidying. I think some of the text was copied verbatim from somewhere else -- that needs to be rewritten.

I got the "Error in SDMS Server" too, but a second attempt worked.  Yesterday, my time, a page was unavailable for several hours.  This comes from using multiple domains, and is probably intended to spread the load, but it is a regular occurrence here.

I agree that citations copied from Ancestry.com are multiple and wordy.
+18 votes

Thanks Team Wiki! And Thanks Ireland Project too - couldn't have gotten up to speed without you Richard :D

The Magna Carta Project now has at 5-Star Team, open to Affiliates and Badged members (see our G2G join post for membership details). Non-members are also welcome to help the Project improve its profiles. When you update the tables at https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Magna_Carta_Project_5-Star_Profiles just add what project (if any) you're with. Magna Carta Project members can join the 5-Star Team by adding their name to the table at https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Project:Magna_Carta_Project_Member_Check-In

Thanks in advance to everyone who'll be working on 5-star profiles across WikiTree!

Cheers, Liz
co-leader, Magna Carta Project

by Liz Shifflett G2G6 Pilot (335k points)
+20 votes

Thank you Chris & Aleš for working so hard on this! (And anybody else I missed). I'm really excited about this. And I think this is a wonderful way for WikiTree members to step outside of their 'comfort zone' and apply their skills to ancestors that aren't in their branches. I can't wait to see what people come up with. smiley

Another great community project/effort! Thank you to all that help.

by Mindy Silva G2G6 Pilot (287k points)
+13 votes

I will gladly help out on any of these profiles.  I only show two - my own which is private with a public tree and Nathan Atkinson (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Atkinson-1875), of which I am one of three managers.  I think Nathan's biography is excellent as is, but if anyone has any suggestions, please send then to me, or one of the other managers.

I am a Data Doctor so I will look for the upcoming challenge, and do as much as I can to make corrections.

by Carolyn Martin G2G6 Pilot (140k points)
edited by Carolyn Martin
Carolyn, I would like your help on the profile of 5-star James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, a relative. I am a manager but most of the format of the profile is not one that I understand. My position is that, as a 5-star it should be a format that is straight-forward and easy to comprehend.  I have recently made a few changes and am now checking my own facts and sources before I make any more changes. Hope to hear from you..
Hi, Marj.  I don't mind helping but there are two other managers as well as yourself on that profile.  Have you tried to work with them on the profile?  I hate to step on anyone's toes.  

I did notice at a cursory review of the profile that the long list of links under Research Notes need to be removed or redone as none of the links are active.

I prefer a more narrative style than the way this is set up, so again, I would prefer if you work with the other managers to sort out the profile.  I'd be happy to help source it or rewrite some of it if all the managers are in agreement.
Thanks for your suggestion to contact the other 2 managers. I suppose I was leap frogging to a solution.
+15 votes


We have a 5 STAR LIST for Polish and Slavic Roots profiles now. Very short but please suggest some more for us. Thanks smiley

by Maggie N. G2G6 Pilot (686k points)
Maggie, Yugoslavia with all its countries also belongs to the Slavic roots. What about adding Nikola Tesla to the list? I added to some of his relatives images I took in the Belgrade Nikola Tesla museum when I was there.
How about Andre' the Giant? (Roussimoff-1).  He was raised in France, but his father was Bulgarian.and his mother was Polish.

Hmm, he shows up on the 4stars search, but not 5stars.  But his profile could use some work.

There's a whole lot of famous Russians that could be added.  You can read the Wikipedia page for each country and look for ideas.  Provinces within a country often have a section on famous people from that area.
+15 votes
I only have one where I am the only profile manager. I was a little surprised, but then I see it's a notable and Don Cheadle is supposedly making a movie about his life. Coolsy Woolsy! Now I have to update it!
by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz G2G6 Pilot (345k points)
+13 votes
I tried searching on 5star unconnected, and didn't get any hits, so apparently all of our 5 star profiles are connected, so that's good.
by Greg Slade G2G6 Pilot (260k points)

I have a feeling that combining 5star and unconnected might be an invalid search combination. I just searched for "england unconnected" and the first 2 on the list are both 5star profiles (I glanced at the rest of the list and I think they might be the only 2, but I didn't check in detail). I expect that combining other locations with unconnected may reveal additional unconnected 5star profiles.

You are going to get the star rating on Unconnected lists, so you'll get a feel of the "most viewed profiles needing a connection. Perhaps this needs to wait until the next report (probably today). I'm not sure it will work the other way around.
You needed to put an "s" at the end of 5star. A search for "5stars unconnected" brings up 655 profiles.
Oh, thanks, Samantha!
+18 votes

We aren't even 24 hours in yet and Caryl Ruckert has already done some remarkable work on the profile of Nicholas Gilman Jr (1755 - 1814) for the 1776 Project (American Revolution).  I can't wait to see what the final profile will look like!

by SJ Baty G2G6 Pilot (615k points)
Yay! Way to go, Caryl!
+12 votes
Done! Thanks for this Chris and Leaders and Team.

by Mags Gaulden G2G6 Pilot (468k points)
+8 votes


5 Stars list for the Black Sheep project if anyone is interested in helping out.

Thanks in advance!

by Susan McNamee G2G6 Mach 3 (37.7k points)
+7 votes

What are the most visited profiles I manage one that has 8543 visits as of 9/11/2019. Daniel Daly

Improving the profiles does make WikiTree the best genealogical website and its FREE

by Eric Daly G2G6 Mach 4 (41.4k points)
edited by Eric Daly
+6 votes
I don't have any of my own. How can I get a list of orphaned 5 star profiles? Preferably by location?
by Thomas Fuller G2G6 Mach 5 (59.3k points)

Thomas, I made a Michigan 5stars list for you. By clicking on the link and changing the text after "5stars" in the left column you can change it to what you need. 

Thanks Jelena. I found a few that were orphaned that I will spruce up a bit.
+6 votes

I manage two - my own, and William Floyd https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Floyd-403, my 7th great-grandfather. 

by Alicia Taylor G2G6 Mach 2 (27.1k points)
+6 votes

The England Project has 161 5 Star Profiles. The EP Managed Profiles Team is going through the list, seeing who needs a bit of love. England Project members are welcome to work on the profiles posted on this page (although please read the instructions first!):



England Project Managed Profiles Team coordinator

by Jo Fitz-Henry G2G6 Mach 2 (22.1k points)
I have responded.
+5 votes

Besides myself (blushing) I have a not project protected/managed profile on the five star that I share with a distant cousin.  Although there is a lot about this fifth great grandmother online, there is probably no way to confirm much of it and much may be myth - What is the best way to improve the Profile of this Cree woman?

Titameg Savagasse Savagasse-1


When I began looking for my family going back I came upon "Titameg's Children" a website back in about 1999 that told her story but it was pulled in 2003.  There are many stories about her but how many are true?  I have added what I feel confident giving sources fro those entries - will do more searching this weekend - and will reah out to those on the First Peoples Canada people to assist me but do not want a lot of the conjecture I see on other sites on her profile - on the other hand I do - and have made my feelings known here on G2G, that Indigenous cultures with oral history traditions are not treated fairly in the genealogy world, and that "white man's facts" on government documents from when those indigenous people were thought of as inferior do not to me have as much value as true words handed down through generations by a culture we do not understand.

This leaves me in a strange role in this improvement - as I want the truth to be told on her page but not sure how to find that truth

by Navarro Mariott G2G6 Pilot (128k points)
+4 votes
Wondering if one of the improvements we could make for these 5 star profiles would be to ask members who have left comments stating their relationship to the profile to kindly copy and paste them, with a link to the profile, on their own profile pages. Some of the older or more notable profiles have long lists of comments that only take up space and are about as useful as "Kilroy was here" graffiti for everyone but the poster.
by Stephanie Ward G2G6 Mach 5 (59.9k points)
+2 votes
Apart from my own profile being 5 star , I have several four star profiles which would indicate their potential at some point to become 5 stars. So nice to know they all get visited frequently.

I will check out the England and Ireland lists
by Janet Wild G2G6 Mach 8 (84.9k points)
Why am I being credited with this thread?  This is the last time I will contribute anything.
Doug, what do you mean "credited with this thread"? I do see a comment from you above from last week. Are you saying you did not post this comment? Please report this as a technical problem in a new G2G post or if you believe your account has been hacked, e-mail info@wikitree. Also, you can get help closing your account if you no longer want to contribute.
No, Chris.  I did post a quick note that I had no star profiles.  Now I am seeing follow-ons that do not follow from my post, but from a different branch.  That should not be happening.  Also, requests to join a Project should go to an administrator, not to the Project's list itself.

No, I am not about to resign a second time.  I did soon after I joined, during a similar period of depression.  That is why I wanted to go underground for this week.  I was thinking of calling the advocates of DNA "centimorons," but that would have been inappropriate.  "centiMormons" might have been better!  Regardless of their distinctive beliefs, the Mormons are still good Christians.  A Vegas operator said that the city would be worse without them.

I have joined GEDmatch, and still can't see that DNA is any help to me at all.  I never wanted to be a number cruncher, but have finished up being one, anyway, and I did it without using DNA.  There was a complaint on one of our mailing lists about matches that go nowhere.  Of 234 4th cousins, only half a dozen are usable, and they are people I have never heard of.
Doug, once you post to a G2G thread, you get messages when anything is added to that same message, even if you posted anywhere on that thread, directly to the message or as a response or comment to someone else.  If it is on that G2G page, then you are a contributor on the page.  They don't want us to miss anyone else's comments on the page.
That is why I would rather not add to the verbiage.  I will go back to doing genealogy rather than toying with sacred cows, bells and whistles. The fact that I suggested days ago that we accept our differences and terminate the discussion, but the"other side" wouldn't hear of it shows Which side is more confident in his opinion.

Doug, if you're getting unwanted replies from G2G threads, go to your answer or comment and click "edit". Then uncheck the button that says to send you e-mails about replies.


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